Collaborating with COMPAS brings unique, award-winning experiences right into your classroom.

COMPAS works with schools’ realities to teach creativity in ways that meet classroom objectives while helping develop whole, problem-solving, creative minds. Everyone in the room creates no matter what their abilities, giving every student the opportunity to benefit from our artists' attention and expertise.

Ready to see what a COMPAS Teaching Artist could accomplish in your classroom? Reach out here.

Our professional Teaching Artists make the arts live and breathe in classrooms across Minnesota. They represent a wide variety of art forms and cultural backgrounds. Grounded in their art and well at ease with diverse student populations, COMPAS roster artists are fresh role models who inspire and delight.  Start your search on our Teaching Artist Roster.

From creative writing to zoology, teaching through the arts enriches curriculum and engages learners. Here are just a few areas where COMPAS can boost student learning. How can we partner with you and inspire your students?


We love working with art and music teachers to expand the scope of art forms available to students. Our programs meet Minnesota arts standards in dance, media arts, music, theater and visual arts, and go way beyond the ordinary. Students learn professional techniques, work side-by-side with a practicing artist and create original art.

Literacy and Language Arts:

We work with each school to understand its artistic, social and language arts goals and helped them select a COMPAS poet, non-fiction writer, storyteller, memoirist, playwright or other writer who will inspire and motivate students as they meet those goals. Selected student pieces from our literary and communications programs are published each year in the COMPAS Anthology of Student Writing. Click here to explore a sample of literary programs that will engage your entire classroom - even those reluctant writers.

Global Cultures:

Immerse students in the vibrancy of cultures from around the world. COMPAS artists bring their cultures to life through African drumming; Music from Ecuador; Dances of Northern India; Aztec dancing; SAORI weaving; Hawaiian music; Music of Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia; Swedish mythology; Bharatanatyam dance; Henna painting from India; and Gamelan music of Java, amongst many other things. Many of our artists are bilingual and can teach in Spanish, French, Hmong, Japanese. Click on Global Cultures in our Artists gallery to see a full list of artists.


COMPAS STEM+Arts programming

COMPAS delivers alternative methods of learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in ways that motivate students who may struggle in more traditional settings. COMPAS encourages the doing, creating and hands-on parts of art & science. We’ve got some great thought starters on what we’ve done in the past. Click here to explore how we can create a program to help teach STEM through art.


Students (especially middle and high school students) discover the power of their ideas and voice as they analyze language, stereotypes, social programming, etc. They'll stretch to use new vocabulary and manipulate language to tell their story concisely and rhythmically in our popular spoken word and hip hop programs. Not sure what spoken word looks like? Here's a 2-minute video of one student performing her piece. 


Research Shows:

More of the brain is at work when the arts are part of the learning process, strengthening attentiveness, reaction time and comprehension. There is also plenty of research to suggest that arts education methods improve long-term retention. In other words, what the students learn through arts integration will stay in their memories for longer than that year’s standardized test.
— Professor of Education, Matthew Lynch, of Virginia Union University

COMPAS offers residencies, performances, workshops, and professional development sessions. Learn more about our arts education program options.

Want to see what a residency can look like? Check out this short video created by COMPAS videographer John Aker during a week at Norman County East Elementary.

The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create.
— President Barack Obama